Combining a love of travel and painting, Nick Kelly has always carried a small watercolour kit on tour so that as the chance presented itself he could sit and take in the beauty of a certain scene or magic moment, create a quick sketch and with a few brush strokes bring a small piece of cartridge paper to life with some fluid pastel colours. The fascination of the translucence of watercolour has urged Nick to capture a particular light or shadow using the medium.
Living in the Middle East for twenty five years presented the chance to paint the beauties of the desert, alone in wide open spaces. As a landscape artist he enjoys the freedom of space and form that is both real and imagined and moving back to his roots on the north Kent coast he has translated this to the beauty of the sea and coastline.
Expanding his medium to acrylic has allowed more adventure, mixing colour as the work is created, freeing him from the restrictions of committing to a watercolour brush stroke and enabling him to create larger canvases where the feeling of space can be emphasised.
‘Light and form are the most important aspects of my work. For me the aim is to capture a mood, an emotion; I endeavour to produce abstract realism.’
Inspired by the genius, later sketches and experiments of JMW Turner, the artists ability of conveying mood and emotion has informed Nick’s practice, whilst the Impressionists have all spoken directly to his soul. Currently Nick identifies most with those connected with St Ives, including Patrick Heron, John Hoyland and Ben Nicholson.
‘My goal is be be open-minded and adventurous but always endeavouring to create a painting that has elements of maybe mystique and intrigue. This will perhaps give an insight into what I was thinking at the time and also give the viewer pleasure or satisfaction that defies description. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!’
Nick Kelly currently divides his time between painting and being a newsreader for the BBC World Service.
View more work by Nick Kelly
Exhibition at Lombard Street Gallery: 21 May to 12 June 2016: Open Spaces, Private Places